Let IT Go

If you are alive, breathing, and moving you will face some challenges in life. Life is designed to chisel away our known and unknown imperfections to help us live a better life while on Earth. I have encountered some “life” moments that have absolutely shaken me to my core. I have wept so bitterly, that I felt as if this was the end of my life. But I have also lived some life moments that have left me speechless. You know the kind where your mouth is open in awe and amazement and you thank the Good Lord for allowing you just to witness what happened. However, the question that plagues my mind is why? Why are there moments that we can explain and then suddenly moments we cannot explain.  Why is there so much pain in the world? Why does it seem that sometimes evil wins and good is hiding? Why am I living a life that I didn’t exactly plan?

WHY? This three-letter word has plagued people for centuries. Here’s what I have learned in my short time here on Earth. Why is a question that although we ask it, we rarely want the answer to it.  We question circumstances, like when the car breaks and you just spent your emergency fund on braces for your oldest child. We question people, when your spouse that you love with all of your heart suddenly walks out your front door. We question, God… if you love me why is all of this happening to me?  Without ceasing we ask why, but do not stop to hear the response.

When why happens to you, don’t spend the rest of your life being angry in search of the answer. Let IT go.  Know that life is going to be filled with some why moments but let IT go. You know IT, whatever is keeping you from recovering from one of those moments. You know IT, that holds you hostage to hate, rejection, loneliness. You know IT, a failed marriage, prodigal child, lack of money to survive. Let IT go.  Don’t let IT stop you from living.

Happy New Life!

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The Power of Breath

Have you ever stopped to think how many parts of your body are involved when you take a breath? Have you ever thought about what must go on internally when you take a breath to speak? Have you ever thought about what happens when your body works as one, and you breath, speak, sing, or yell? I can tell I have never thought about any of the mechanisms involved in breathing until I am having a problem breathing. Where my breath comes from is never a thought in my mind, I expect, no I demand for it to be there when I need it.

I don’t always stop to think how I am using my words toward someone. Most of the time, I don’t even care if they understand what I am saying, I mean if they fail to understand, I usually say that is their fault (anyone else guilty)! I am breathing right now as I type this but I haven’t once thought what would happen if I wasn’t? That is the problem I face today.

Are we taking our every breath for granted? Are we using our breath to spread gossip, lies, doubt, mistrust, hatred, death? Are we using breath, breath that is a gift from God alone, to kill not just others but ourselves? I can’t spend my life using the gift of breath, to snatch the breath out of someone else…no one has that power. But that is exactly what we do when the only objective is to be selfishThe next moment you speak, the next moment you yell, the next conversation you begin, ask am I using the power of breath for good?

Now, take a breath.

 

Happy New Life!

Help!

I don’t know about you, but I do not really like to ask for help. Being the oldest child I have learned how to offer help to those who are younger than me. I have always extended courtesy to others when it is obvious to me that they needed some assistance. My sister says, I have the heart to help the “underdog.” But when I need help, I find myself scrambling to figure out the problem and save face so others do not perceive me as weak. What’s up with that? The world teaches us how to take care of me and mine, and you get whatever is left. The world tells me to step on, and step over those in my way of success or getting what rightfully belongs to me. Use whatever means necessary to ensure my ability to climb the ladder of success, have the best house, the best children, the best marriage, even if it is a lie.

For the last few weeks I have been attending a women’s bible study that has challenged me to my core. As a believer, it is easy for me to offer help to those that I believe are struggling more than me, why, because I know the secret-don’t let anyone know I am really the one who needs help. So where’s the disconnect? When did it not become ok, to need help? When we were children, we asked our parents, as students we asked our teachers, as adults, we become silent.  Today, I need help. I need God. I need unconditional love. I need grace. I need mercy. All of these things can only come when I ask for help, genuinely without fear, without wondering who might talk about me, without consequence because I want to be whole.

Life is so precious and wasting time pretending to be fine when you are screaming on the inside doesn’t make sense. I challenge you tonight to ask for Help!

Happy New Life!!

It’s NEVER Too Late

Let’s be honest with ourselves, we all have hopes, dreams, goals, aspirations, plans and then reality hits. You lose your scholarship for college, you have to work two jobs just to pay off your tuition balance, maybe you become a parent, unplanned and unexpected, maybe there is a family emergency and you have to place your life on hold to be with the family. Maybe you fail your first semester and end up on probation, or maybe you just quit. Regardless of the circumstance, your performance, or your diligence, sometimes life is just hard and dreams sometimes fade. For the last five years, you have promised yourself to go back to school and finish that degree, to become more so your children have an example to follow, to pay off debt, and revive the dream that once burned within you, but you are stuck right now. You are doing your routine, work, family, home flawlessly but secretly wondering is this all my life is going to be? I am ever going to finish anything that I really want? Something has to give…

Right now, you have been blessed with an amazing opportunity, TODAY. Stop planning to do something and do it now. I know, it sounds good and it even may get you excited but life has a way of reminding you what your priorities are. Well, no life is worth living without a dream. Children are the best example of how adults (grown children) need to live. They want to be astronauts, presidents, scientist, rock stars, teachers and all of those dreams live because they do not worry about what tomorrow may bring. Children remind us that we always have time to live the dream that is inside our heart. Children remind us to have NO FEAR!! Take the limits off yourself and run until you finish.  No, I certainly don’t want to be five again, but I do want that faith of my five-year old self. I tell you the truth, It’s Never Too Late! See you at the finish line!

Happy New Life!

Today

Last night I spent over a half-hour watching and listening to some new internet based 100% commission program that is absolutely free. Why was I watching it? Well, I received a friend request on Facebook and ventured to the person’s page to see if the request was legitimate. I did not know the person but clicked on the link anyway. As I listened to the CEO speak about this unprecedented, once in a lifetime opportunity, I will admit I was intrigued; but after doing my own research I found it to be another type of scheme where those already “in” were rich and those “joining” were not going to be rich.  I thought, man we live in a world where words can cause you to do almost anything!  People are thirsty for words that affirm, build-up, encourage, challenge, and give hope. Yet, we spend our entire lives using words in the opposite context. We use them to lie, hurt, manipulate, and destroy.

Today, I will use words to change my life and the lives of those I love. I will not waste time offering a promise that I cannot deliver hoping to trap someone by my words. I will use words to love. I will use words to build up. I will use words to strengthen anyone who is down. I will use words to LIVE.

Today, you and I have been blessed with another chance to get it right. Today, we have the opportunity to give hope. Today, right now as I type and you read we have the choice to change our world with our words for better. Today, is a gift, use it well.

Happy New Life, TODAY!!!

Begin Again

Life.  It is one of the most rewarding, most difficult, most complex, most fun gifts that we have been given. Life takes everything that you are and then demands more than seems possible for you to give. Life, is an individual journey, shared with family, friends, enemies, and strangers. There are moments when words escape you to describe how you feel, then there are moments when life causes you to burst into uncontrollable laughter, some moments that you cry, and some where there is no emotion at all. Yet, we all have one life.

January is the first month of the calendar year, most of the world makes resolutions, determinations, just plans to live life differently than the last twelve months. By the end of this first month, most of us have returned to Life, just how it was last year. Why is that? I mean is it difficult to commit? Do we really think that changing is the best option until we have to do it? Is it peer pressure, is it laziness, is it fear? What happens between December 31 and January 31 has stifled the entire population. There is a drive to be, to do something anything new, until Life interrupts. So how do we change that?

What guides you? What are you passionate about? Who do you love? These questions hold the answer to your attempt and mine in January that fail by February. If we set a goal, why is the goal not centered around my passion? If we want a change in our lives, why not focus on the people we love to help change it? If we want a new career, why are we afraid to follow our hearts desire? Why? Because we think if we try to and fail, it’s over. Here’s the truth, every morning we have new mercies, new grace, to begin again. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is not promised, but you have today. Begin Again, right now. Accomplish something today. Don’t spend this gift of today planning for next year, live right now.

Begin Again.

Happy New Life!

Lamentations 3:21-23

Shut Up!!?!

When I was younger, ‘Shut Up” was a bad word. I mean you would have thought I said some serious profane, vulgar word when I let that phrase slip out of my mouth. I used to dream of the day that I could say it without fear of consequence. My mom would always say, those words are so ugly and there are better words that you can use to convey the same message. Man, I didn’t want to hear that. If I didn’t like something said, I would not prefer to use, please close your lips, cease from speaking, could you please employ silence, I wanted to say SHUT UP!!! Ha!

Anyway, even still as an adult, I always think twice and look to see where my mom is before I say those words. This really has me thinking, words indeed have power. Words can build, destroy, grow, change the course of action, mean everything or mean absolutely nothing. Take for instance how many words we read in a day, whether through our news feed, a blog, email, text, words are everywhere. Those words are just read silently, but we say them aloud, in an instant those words become alive, active, engaged, moving.

When I say shut up, I usually mean stop talking, and I want instant silence for a minute. But what is heard is; stop talking, I don’t want you to speak, what you say is worthless and invaluable, please don’t waste my time talking, just stop. Now, I think, what I am doing? I don’t mean anything other that be quiet when I use those words, but when someone hear’s it, they may just shut up. I cannot bare the responsibility of speaking words of death, gloom, hatred to anyone, and my only reply is, “sorry that’s not what I meant.” Although that is probably true, I am responsible for what I say.

Let’s clean up our words! Speak Life! Proverbs 18:21 Death and Life are in the power of the tongue; and they that love it will eat the fruit thereof. 

Happy New Life!!

Bye Bye Anger

Have you ever been angry? Is that a silly question? I know there are some people who will say, “I’ve never been angry,” and if that is true I need to come talk to you immediately, but for the rest of us, we have at one time been angry. Let me tell you first hand the problem with anger, it controls you. I mean if you get upset because the kids made a mess in the house, or you forgot to turn off the oven, or you left your thumb drive at home for your meeting, there is a slight elevation in our stress.  But I’m talking about anger, I mean when someone jumps in your face and starts yelling, when you are lied on at work and as a result lose your job, when you are heartbroken for nothing, then you get angry.  The second problem with anger is it is an emotion driven by fear. Fear, is a killer. It paralyzes its victim and scoffs at the result. In the heat of the moment, when all the emotions are at the surface, the fight of flight reflex initiates, in like a millisecond your body (at that moment) on autopilot decides what to do. It is a scary thought, but a more painful reality. The final problem with anger is that it changes your natural body function, it changes YOU.  Your body responds  quickly to anger. It can change how you think, move, live. I mean you can blackout, fight, scream or just shutdown.

Anger, the word makes me cringe and cry at the same time. I have been at times a willing participant with anger. I have used words and actions to paralyze those who may have crossed me and because of fear I attacked first. Anger is a real problem, but only the surface problem. When in life do we find enough courage to deal with the root. I have a joyful disposition most of the time, it is not like me at all to be mean, but I find myself questioning who I am when I get angry. It is a dark place to be, but absolutely necessary if I want to change.  Last night, I laid in a hospital bed, IV hooked up, blood drawn, medicine coming through the IV, because I allowed anger to drive me. The doctor tested everything, heart, lungs, urine, thyroid, stress levels, and all results were normal. But although in that moment I was relived, I was more disappointed that I choose anger and that choice could have damaged my life permanently.

Today, is a new day, with new mercies, new choices and me. I will from this day forward dismiss anger from my life, it no longer lives here.

Happy New Life!

Unseen Grace

I pride myself on being a very involved mother to my children. I take the job seriously, because how I raise, instruct, and nurture my children is a direct reflection of my rearing and a future indicator of their success when they one day become parents. Let me paint a picture, my mom believes in the power of prayer. She has never been a medicine person. She took my sister and I to the doctor routinely and kept us well, however her instruction to us every time we experienced a slight sniffle was prayer. If we fell and hit our knee as we ran toward her for comfort,  she would say, “pray baby pray.” As I grew, prayer became as natural as breathing. I learned that I could always ask God to help me and immediately He would and then I could go to the doctor if I needed to.

My baby girl, who is 11 is full of life. She is spunky, sassy, intelligent and one of my greatest joys. When she was about 7, she was not eating her sandwiches in her lunch box. She came home and told me, ” Mom, I don’t like the bread.” Now I am a wheat bread junkie, so I told her, “too bad. Just eat it!” I mean seriously, we don’t waste food! Later that night, I was preparing for bed and I heard the Lord say,  “just let her eat white bread.” For those who know me intimately, I am real stubborn….don’t tell me what to do without an explanation, because you and I will have problems. I remember in that instance I shrugged my shoulders and decided to buy white bread. From that day til now she has been devouring every single sandwich. Fast forward four years and just last week I found myself  in the hospital clinic with my baby and she is having blood drawn for a possible undetected allergic reaction.

Now, you know I immediately heard, “pray baby pray,” and so I did. The results of the test confirmed that she was indeed allergic to wheat and most nuts. I almost cried as I heard the doctor this morning explain how to use an EpiPen in case of accidental ingestion of those foods. I recounted the times that I noticed her sneezing, coughing, and eyes running, seemingly out of nowhere because I didn’t know about this allergy. I thought to myself, if I would have known I would have changed everything. I thought, Oh my God, for the last 11 years You have protected my baby and kept her alive without any assistance from me.

We thanked the doctor for the information and left the office. As we drove home, I just couldn’t figure out how I missed the signs… why didn’t I know, why didn’t I recognize the changes? When we pulled into the driveway, all I could do was shake my head and thank God, for his Unseen Grace.

Are they any witnesses out there?

Happy happy New Life!!

I would like to introduce, Me

Identity, it can be a blessing or a curse. Most of the time in life, we never stop to think about who we are. We spend most of our time telling people who we are based on what we answer too. I am the oldest daughter of Leroy and Cynthia, I am the older sister to ReeKa and a Mom to too many children to list… ha! However, are those names accurately describing who I am or are they just part of who I am? Part of the struggle I have had with my identity,  is based on defining who I am, in order to meet or match the expectations of those who know and love me. I strive to be excellent, kind, loving, loud, bossy (indeed), but also loyal. The problem however, is not knowing when or how to pull back and remember who I really am at my core.

Shakespeare, said it best, “to thine own self be true” but who is that? We define ourselves by our position; manager, owner, CEO; our occupation, doctor, lawyer, teacher, police officer; our responsibility, mother, father, sister, brother, but none of these words really describe me. I do not plan to spend anymore time looking for myself. I want to be found, immediately. I want to figure out what I like to eat, what I like to wear, where I would like to live without the pressure of anyone/anything else to influence my decision to be happy with me.

One of my favorite scriptures states; I am fearfully and wonderfully made, marvelous are thy works that my soul knoweth right well (Psalm 139:14).  And since I totally believe this verse. I wanted to introduce me to you.

I am joyful, quirky, a lover of learning, at times lazy, a food connoisseur, cannot make anything crafty,  but I love to see them made, NEVER WANTS TO WORK, loves to shop on clearance, and I literally want to be retired from this day forward. I am totally fine with me and invite you to become fine with you. Peel back all the names you answer to and get to your core, and embrace Y-O-U! It’s a pleasure to meet you.

Happy New Life!!